Andrew Garfield’s best movies, ranked

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When Andrew Garfield assumed the role of Peter Parker in 2012 The Amazing Spider-ManThe general assumption was that Hollywood had found a prominent new man, someone to consistently feature their biggest projects. He was emerging from an extremely famous performance in the cultural phenomenon of Social network. He was charismatic, good looking and knew how to be in front of the camera. However, Garfield never ended up being quite interested in slipping into conventional lead male roles. Similar to the likes of Colin Farrell Where Jude law before him, his interests took him away from the Hollywood limelight and pushed him to push his limits. Garfield stars in three films released in 2021 with Main stream, Tammy Faye’s eyes, and tick, tick … BOOM!, the latter of which garners a lot of attention and rewards his performance as To rent composer Jonathan larson.

These three performances, along with much of his work during his short but successful career, fall into the “Go big, or go home” category. Garfield isn’t shy about making important and unusual choices for his characters, which many members of the audience might find alienating or irritating. Although some may not like him, no one will ever be able to criticize his work on the grounds that he does not give his best for a given project. This intense engagement often creates something quite special, and in this piece, it’s time to celebrate why he’s such a unique talent. These seven films capture the best of what Andrew Garfield brings to the screen.


7. Red Ride: The Year of Our Lord 1974 (2010)



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Image via IFC Films

Although he did not linger in the cultural conversation, the Red Riding Trilogy, which aired on Channel 4 in the UK and theatrically released in the US, was somewhat of a minor moment. Adapted from novels by David Pearce, these three crime films, all starring a slew of fantastic British actors from Rébecca Room To Peter Mullan, take a historical fictional angle on The Yorkshire Ripper, a serial killer from the 1970s and early 1980s. Andrew Garfield is directing the first of the films, The year of Our Lord 1974, as a young reporter who is rooted in both the hunt for the killer and the vicious corruption within the police department. Even though he was only in his twenties at the time, Garfield already had an imposing screen presence to tell such a crime story in the middle, made with meat and potatoes, which often focuses on older, more mundane characters with built-in gravity. His student performance 1974 to be the best of the trilogy and helped it really grab the attention of Hollywood filmmakers and casting directors for more publicized work.

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6. Boy A (2008)



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Image via channel 4

Boy A is another movie that aired on UK television and theatrically released in the US. It was the first time Garfield had starred in a feature film, playing a young man released from prison after committing a heinous crime as he tried to start his life in a new place with a new name. Director John crowley (Brooklyn) and screenwriter Mark O’Rowe make no effort when you portray the lives of people weighed down by anger, depression, trauma and self-loathing. During a large part of the operating time, Boy A is a tough seat, by design, but Garfield imbues the new Jack Burridge with such a heart that no matter how deep the desperation gets, you can’t help but want to get him out of there. As a fitting introduction to the feature film world, it’s a pretty daring job you can get started with, fitting in perfectly with the rest of Garfield’s career in picking daring gear. He won the BAFTA for Best Actor in Television for his performance that year, and it was a much-deserved victory.

5. check, check … BOOM! (2021)



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Image via Netflix

Garfield’s latest performance is the best of his recent run of really all he has to offer in the character. Although his work in Tammy Faye’s eyes Where Under the silver lake are just as committed, Lin-Manuel Miranda allows the making of films tick, tick … BOOM! follow the manic energy that Garfield brings to Jonathan Larson, instead of sometimes forcing his choices on him on a film that doesn’t entirely call for them. This manic energy will undoubtedly turn some people off, as the tolerance for serious energy of “theater kids” varies tremendously from person to person, but Garfield is fully committed to this energy. Plus, he can actually sing, a pretty important detail of a musical performance that so many movie musicals often overlook. People are still discovering tick, tick … BOOM!, but it will certainly change a lot of people’s minds about what Garfield can do as an actor.

4.99 houses (2015)



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Image via Broad Green Pictures

In his first film after hanging up the spider spandex, Garfield took on the role of an unemployed construction worker and a single dad kicked out of his family home in Orlando in 99 homes of the director Ramin bahrani. Paired with the dreaded Michael shannon, playing a predatory real estate agent, the film portrays the harshness with which rich people take advantage of those with so little and treat them without any dignity. 99 homes often operates in a neorealistic space, and despite Garfield’s star power, he blends in perfectly with the world. What holds the film back is a third act that pulls it out of that space anchored in something more traditionally plot-driven, but Garfield and Shannon’s performances and attention to detail still make the film a standout. Bahrani quite a moving experience.

RELATED: Watch Andrew Garfield Geek Out on Special Video Message from the Cast of ‘Cobra Kai’

3. The social network (2010)



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Image via Sony

The only surprise with Social network appearing on this list for most readers is not the top spot. This movie is what really opened it all for Andrew Garfield, playing the best friend-turned-rival of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse eisenberg). Director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin crafted a film that eleven years later plays the role of an even more haunting tale than it originally was due to how Facebook (or more specifically, devolution) has evolved since then. Garfield attacks Sorkin’s signature dialogue with vigor and also matches the Oscar nominated Eisenberg every moment. The fact that he did not receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars that year will remain one of the most baffling rebuffs in recent memory. Social network Obviously lives up to one of the flagship movies of the 2010s, and we can thank him for really launching Garfield into another tier of acting.

2. Never Let Me Go (2010)



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Image via Fox Searchlight

While much of the discussion in the fall of 2010 around Andrew Garfield revolved around Social network, he also played alongside Carey mulligan and Keira knightley in the truly exquisite sci-fi drama Never let Me Go of the director Marc Romanek (who strangely hasn’t made a film since). Adapted by Alex Garland from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, this story of a group of clones bred for the explicit purpose of future organ transplants is a steel and heartbreaking film that taps into the classic sci-fi question of what it means to be human in such an unexpected way. and emotional. Garfield’s Tommy, an artist prone to outbursts of howling rage, carries much of the emotional weight of the film, as he’s truly the only one who truly expresses everything he feels. He, Mulligan, and Knightley form a wonderful relationship with each other, as do the trio of child actors who play them at school. Never let Me Go remains criminally underrated and bills itself as one of the great movies of the 2010s.

1. Silence (2016)



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Image via Paramount

Martin scorsese had tried to make a movie from the novel Silence by the Japanese author End ShÅ«saku for about twenty-five years before materializing in 2016. Actors of Daniel Day-Lewis To Benicio del Toro had been attached to the project through its many iterations, and eventually Garfield took up the torch as Father Sebastião Rodrigues, a Portuguese priest on a mission to Japan to bring Christianity to a country that banned religion. Upon release, Silence met – well – silence, receiving very few critical champions, a single Oscar nomination for director of photography Rodrigo Prieto, and making only about half of its production budget of $ 46 million at the global box office. A real shame because Silence stands as one of Scorsese’s best films, not only of his last period but of his entire career, as it expertly tackles the contradictions of the nobility and selfishness of martyrdom, understated forms of colonialism and reconciling his faith while making actions that directly oppose it a favorite subject of Scorsese. Garfield carries a tremendous weight on his frail, malnourished shoulders throughout the film and beautifully captures Father Rodrigues’ myriad of internal struggles, especially during his confrontations with the Inquisitor (Issey Ogata) determined to make the priest renounce his faith. Silence only becomes more powerful with age, and one day this film of a master filmmaker and actor rising to achieve that mastery will be properly praised.

Andrew Garfield is only 38 years old and has a long and exciting career ahead. Then comes the mini-series Under the banner of heaven of Against all odds director David McKenzie and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Of course, there is intense speculation that he will reprise his role as Peter Parker in the ultra-anticipated Spider-Man: No Path Home, but while that role was what propelled him to the A-List, this list makes it clear that Garfield’s interests in projects and roles vary wildly, often going against more traditional business instincts. Here are the next decades of Andrew Garfield’s performances.


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